She offers me her breast. She offers me her breasts. I am not sure how she offers, other than by baring and waiting and continuing to breathe. Her breasts are plenty, but not extravagant. Appropriate. They are symmetrical as far as I can discern without a balance. Choose one. I would say at random, but nothing is random except perhaps which rice grain from a bag of rice winds up on your plate or which stars fall in the sky and land at your feet. I choose her left. My right. Do not ask for justification. As almost nothing is random except the distribution of sticks in a randomly piled pile of sticks or who you meet in the wide windswept world and where and how and when and what you do about it and thereby who you love, perhaps my choice indicates I list vaguely to my right. Perhaps my right leg is slightly shorter than my left. Or perhaps I am right-handed. Or perhaps her left breast is in some inexplicable way more becoming than her right. Whyever I choose the right, my right, her left, I choose. I consent. I suckle. I knead. Nothing is expressed, unlike my wife’s breasts, which are difficult to not express, anymore. I stop.
Rebecca is her name. Becca. Or Reb. That is what I call her, Reb. I do not think she likes it, but it’s been going on for a while and she has swallowed her tongue or forgotten I say it even as I say it. An amazing woman. The mother of all my children. Ten or twelve of them I think. This is my wife I talk about, Reb. I am sorry if I explicate things you already understand. I have communication issues, Reb tells me. Not now, she is not here, but she has told me and will tell me again. I am sorry, sometimes I am not present where I am.
Which is a oneroomcabinwithabathroom with Antoinette, who takes advantage of my undone pants to take hold of my screwdriver and pull me to the bed. Reb’s invention there, screwdriver, but it reflects her handiness with tools. The wordchoice reveals something of her character is what I am saying. How her handy personality is what maintains our home while I am out collecting sticks or gathering stones.
Take advantage is misleading and I do not like to mislead. Antoinette did lead me here, but I followed. I offered myself by leaving my pants undone I realize now and the door unlocked, even if the existence of a lock was a physical impossibility. I understand my complicity, but I do not know why or how or from whence it comes. Oh, I know I have lead in my pencil and it is said that the pencil is the seat of man’s thoughts. But that is facile. What kind of man fits a pipe without love? I am not talking about the kind of love that makes you want to talk to the pipe afterward, but in the fitting of a pipe there is some love if you are in any way present in your actions, which I admittedly rarely am in totality but almost always am in partiality. Which, far from negating the presence of some love in my handiwork, promises at least some parcel of love in my penmanship. Which makes the act more substantial and increases the betrayal.
One of the untold things I am saying is I don’t know about you, but my love comes from my mind. I do know about you, everything comes from my mind. Listen, I am not going to be one of these guys who believes there is no reality except my mind, but I cannot know what I do not know, and what I know is what my mind perceives. I know my mind perceives incorrectly, that there is a perception my mind is not perceiving, due partly to the reliance of my mind on my brain, the perception of which inspires a mournful scream, which sounds like a mountain lion’s scream, which in turn sounds like the scream of a dying baby, but even the most animal of ejaculations arises from my brain. Where the leap from brain to mind is, I do not know. I know my body does things my brain, no, my mind, perhaps both, cannot control. My heart palpitates, peristalsis pushes a stick through my alimentary canal, my serotonin reuptake inhibitors are uninhibited. My pencil rights itself at a 45-degree angle and writes in messy globules. I talk. I also know that mind controls body and if I were more at one with my mind I would have more control of my body, and I know peaceful men have said release control to gain control, but I will not say control is what I am after. I do not know what I am after or before, but now I am in love, I am in my mind, do not blame my heart or my brain or my God or my pencil, ratchet, wrench, clamp, double bastard file, Yankee screwdriver, American workethic, capitalistic ethos, shallow morality, tool-and-die, or my drill press to perpetuate. It is my need. My mind’s. If my mind and I are synonymous. I do not know what it is or where it comes from but it is mine, mind’s, and the sticks no longer suffice, and I was not collecting stones today, and did not know what to say and did not want to say anything but I did not say No.
I am also saying, Do not think poorly of Antoinette. She is only human. Think poorly of me. Think of what I do to her. Think of what I do to Reb.
Another thing I am saying is I do not want to be saying.
Knowing love comes from my mind and not my heart or my toolbox is no help in explaining my actions, which is perhaps what I am doing. Should we discuss the transport of neurotransmitters, the geometry of dendrites, the flux of action potentials?
I believe in the comity of relationships. I respect the communicative boundaries of self. I am not a serial fornicator. I eat only rice and beans and I eat them often but that is all I eat. Occasionally a stick. But Antoinette is a sheaf of wheat, tied at the waist, spreading to her breasts and spreading to her feet.
Which implies again an absence of her head. Allow me to state imperatively that she has a head. She has a head. With hair. Hair like wheat. Long wheat. Gold wheat. Soft wheat. Raw wheat in my hand. In my mouth. A canopy for my face.
It is just that I cannot get inside her head. I do not know why she wants me, or how. She shows me how.
I cannot even get inside my head. It has hung a No Vacancy sign. It went and got itself a room. Now there’s no room in the inn. It hangs a Do Not Disturb sign. It has an ear for each sign and a disturbed vacancy between with much beating on the walls and moaning and no room for me.
Apologies, I almost forgot my own agency. Even if there is no room for me in me, it is still me who talks of me, incessantly, and she makes room for me in her.
I love my wife. Perhaps you do not believe me. That is fine. You are not here. And this is not a confession I need you to believe. It is not a story problem that can be solved by applying Math to English. It is a relationship.
Neither you nor I knows what love means.
Perhaps we are both wrong and the seat of love is in the brainstem. In the neck. Antionette has a nice neck. Guillotine through conservative and revolutionary and royal and right love. Hang the guilty by their love. Asphyxiate by love. I do not purport to suffer from a love so over abundant that it smothers. Saying so would be insulting to my wife, and would be a lie. Look at what I am doing on the hardwood floor. Now propped in a corner. Now facing out the window. What Antoinette and I do, I do to Reb.
Will you go away now? I would like to be alone.
You and I do not have a strong enough relationship to be alone together in silence, even a breathy silence. Alone, I could be silent. Alonetogether makes me uneasy. Your presence makes me uncomfortable. Youandme makes an unwholesome we. You are complicit, you understand, you can leave, I cannot, so am I. I speak or write or whatever, communicate, like with words, when I could conceivably be silent and disappear from your, from all, consciousness. But something about you or something about me makes me not. Because of you, or more properly because of how you make me feel, how I feel about you then, I speak, using words, and my words make me yet more uneasy, uncomfortable, unwholesome. Those are not the right words, the right un’s. My words make me yet more unpleasant, undecided, ununified. Inadequate, incomplete, intolerable. Make me yet more unaware, undeniable, unclear, uninterested, uninteresting. Yet more under, unless, useless, used. Unfurled, unloved, unlovable, unloving. More unlove. Fuck it. Forced air in my underwear questing for the right word. Perseverating, percolating, perambulating, penetrating with words when what my body, mind, and soul, which is to say I, enact in bed with Antoinette provides me with enough undertow. Incline. Orgasm.
Where was I? Am I?
In. Screwing my brains out on the bed. She screwing me, I screwing she, we screwing Reb, me screwing everybody, screwing our brains out, screwing your brains out, brains screwing all over the bed, a mess mish-mashed and flopped over and flung into and over and underneath and behind and in and out and in and out and in and in and in and huge and a soporific slop of slosh. A cry from the woods. Heaving breath. Quiet brains. Smalling. Out. Leaking. Hopping. Toilet flushing. Her skin again, flushed. A king for a moment. Now the guillotine. Relieved of my head in two minutes max.